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Omar Khayyam Biography


Born in the city of Nishapur, which is located in Khorasan (now the Iranian province of Khorasan-Rezavi). Omar was the son of a tent, he also had a younger sister named Aisha. At 8, he began to deeply engage in mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. At age 12, Omar became a student of the Nishapur Madrasah. Later he studied at the madrasah of Balkh, Samarkand and Bukhara. There he graduated with honors from the course in Muslim law and medicine, receiving the qualification of a hakim, that is, a doctor. But medical practice was of little interest to him. He studied the works of the famous mathematician and astronomer Sabit ibn Kurra, the works of Greek mathematicians.
Khayyam’s childhood fell on the cruel period of the Seljuk conquest of Central Asia. Many people died, including a significant part of scientists. Later in the introduction to his “Algebra,” Khayyam will write bitter words:
We have witnessed the deaths of scientists, from whom a small long-suffering bunch of people remained. The severity of fate in these times prevents them from completely surrendering to the improvement and deepening of their science. Most of those who currently have the appearance of scientists, dress the truth with a lie, without going beyond science to the limits of fake and hypocrisy. And if they meet a person who is distinguished by the fact that he seeks truth and loves the truth, tries to reject falsehood and hypocrisy and refuse to boast and deceit, they make him the subject of their contempt and ridicule.
At the age of sixteen, Khayyam suffered the first loss in his life: during the epidemic, his father died, and then his mother. Omar sold his father’s house and workshop and went to Samarkand. At that time, it was a recognized scientific and cultural center in the East. In Samarkand, Khayyam first becomes a student of one of the madrassas, but after several speeches at the debates, he so impressed everyone with his scholarship that he was immediately made a mentor.
Like other major scientists of the time, Omar did not stay long in any city. Only four years later, he left Samarkand and moved to Bukhara, where he began working in book storage facilities. In the ten years that the scientist lived in Bukhara, he wrote four fundamental treatises on mathematics.
In 1074, he was invited to Isfahan, the center of the state of Sanjarov, to the court of the Seljuk Sultan Melik Shah I. On the initiative and with the patronage of the chief Shah Vizier, Nizam al-Mulka Omar became the spiritual mentor of the Sultan. Two years later, Melik Shah appointed him the head of the palace observatory, one of the largest in the world. While working in this position, Omar Khayyam not only continued his studies in mathematics, but also became a famous astronomer. With a group of scientists, he developed a solar calendar, more accurate than the Gregorian. Compiled "Malikshah astronomical tables", including a small star catalog [6]. Here he wrote "Comments on the difficulties in introducing the book of Euclid" (1077) from three books; in the second and third books he studied the theory of relations and the doctrine of number. However, in 1092, with the death of Sultan Melik Shah, who patronized him and Vizier Nizam al-Mulk, the Isfahan period of his life ends. Accused of godless freethinking, the poet is forced to leave the Seljuk capital.
The last hours of Khayyam’s life are known from the words of his younger contemporary, Beihaki, who refers to the words of the poet’s son-in-law.
Once, while reading the “Book of Healing,” Abu Ali ibn Sina Khayyam felt the approach of death (and then he was already over eighty). He stopped in the reading on the section devoted to the most difficult metaphysical issue and entitled "One in the plural", put between the sheets a gold toothpick, which he held in his hand, and closed the tome. Then he called his relatives and students, made a will and after that did not take any food or drink. Having fulfilled the prayer for the coming dream, he bowed down and knelt, saying: “God! To the best of my ability, I tried to know you. Forgive me! As I have known you, I have come close to you. ” With these words, Khayyam died on the lips.

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